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Should filmmakers mix fact and fiction?

By Kevin MacDonald   January 2004

Photo by massdistraction via flickr

Photo: massdirection via flickr

As the biopic of an artist, the new film American Splendour is as removed from Charlton Heston and The Agony and the Ecstasy as it is possible to be. It tells the “true life story” of the comics writer Harvey Pekar – a grumbling, unglamorous figure who worked as a file clerk in a Cleveland hospital until his retirement a few years ago. A jazz lover and friend of cult comics artist Robert Crumb, Pekar documentated his banal, day to day experiences in a series of comic books, also called American Splendour.

What makes the film…

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